Cost comparisons for fundraising platforms

Today I’m speaking at an AFP event on ‘The Anatomy of Campaigns” where we’ll talk specifically about online fundraising campaigns. There are lots of sites and apps to raise money online. I’m often asked which tool is best?  People hate my answer…’it depends’.  For this post, let’s look at the bottom line – fee structure and cost.

Each service has both a platform fee and a processing fee (ex Stripe/PayPal). The total fee is what matters.

Service Total Fee
IndieGogo 6.9% + $0.30
Facebook Donate by GiveModo 6% + $0.30
FirstGiving.com 7.5%
Rally.org 7.9% + $0.30
Razoo 6.9% + $0.30
GoFundMe 7.9% + $0.30
Fundly.com 7.8% + $0.30

 

To normalize fee comparisons across all services, we’ll use the example of a typical donation amount of $150 (a study in 2012 showed the average online donation size is $146.)

 

Fees on $150 donation

 

The lowest-priced service is GiveModo’s Facebook app at $9.30 (or 6.2%). And the highest is GiveForward.com at $12.35 (or 8.23%)

Of course, the fee as a % climb higher if the donation amounts are smaller. Lots of crowdfunding campaigns get small donations. Here is how the fees stack up for a $10 donation:

Fees on $10 donation

This time FirstGiving has the lowest fee (7.5%) while GiveForward remains the most expensive ($12.9%).  You should expect to pay between 6% and 13% for most online donation amounts. Fees surprisingly vary quite a bit depending on the service.

Obviously a fundraising platform is more than just fees. The cheapest services usually have drawbacks – ex: GiveModo on Facebook only works on your Facebook page. FirstGiving.com doesn’t allow giving on your own website.  Choosing a fundraising service depends on the donation amounts you expect, where your supporters will be donating, and a host of other options.

We’ll look at design, social integration and other parameters next…until then, let me know (in the comments) if there are other services you love that should be considered!

 

One thought on “Cost comparisons for fundraising platforms

  1. Hi,

    Could you please consider our fundraising platform, http://fundlio.com/ too? We use Stripe, which charges 2.9% + $0.30 per donation processed and our clients also need to pay a monthly subscription of $19.95 per month (starter) or $29.95 (premium), and they also enjoy other benefits, like a mobile-friendly website, unlimited online donations, email marketing, donors management, and iPhone/Android app (the premium package).

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